I have a confession. Sometimes I'm a horrible Mom. And I hate that about me. It's a constant inner struggle to have patience with my children. To not yell. To not lose my temper. And I lose the struggle more often than I'd like to admit.
I'm really working on keeping calm so I can be an effective mother, but it's the biggest challenge of my life. Even harder than for me to not 'sass' when I was a teenager. For me to be calm and rational though, I have to not be cranky, and to not be cranky I need to not be hungry or have a headache. Those seem like two relatively easy items, but somehow they are not.
Change in the weather creates some pretty bad headaches for me that aren't remedied by drugs. Or at least ones without a prescription that I feel comfortable taking while nursing. In the summer I tend to lose track of time and before I know it, it's way past dinner time and the boys are whining because they are hungry and I don't have the patience to deal with them rationally since I'm hungry too. I've been that way my whole life and it's difficult to change those patterns that are so ingrained in your very being. However, I think I'll start wearing a watch and keep on top of regular meal times. It sounds so easy and logical. Why is this so hard for me?
Here's the incident that is really bringing on this post.
Over the weekend, Simon had just peed in his pants about 2 minutes after I asked him if he had to go (for the second time that day), which frustrates me to no end. I know, he's little and I need to be patient, but I struggle.
He had taken a little car down the driveway and didn't want to take it back to the house. So I had Noah do it, which started out fine. Then halfway up the driveway Noah started crying, he's tired of it. I told him to leave it in the driveway and Tim would run over it with the tractor and then we'd just throw it away and then he wouldn't have to put it away. That was not what Noah wanted to hear so he kept driving it, crying all the while, irritating me even more. When we got in yelling distance of Eli I had him go and get the little car, which he did without complaining.
I took Simon in and got him changed and made him stay in his bed. Then Noah and I went back down to the end of the driveway where he had left his bike so he could take the car back to the house for Simon. When we are close enough to see his bike at the end of the drive he says, "That's not my bike. That's Eli's. Eli rode my bike back to the house." Sure enough, it was Eli's bike. AAHHHH!! Are you kidding me? Noah can't ride it-no training wheels. I tell Noah to head back to the house and wait for me.
By that time Eli was walking down the driveway to get his bike. Evidently he realized he'd need to go back for it, so yeah for him being old enough to realize Noah wouldn't be able to do it and I'm too big to ride it and I couldn't push it and the stroller with Jesse all at the same time. Eli said something to me and I snapped at him. His response was, "Are you mad?" He knew I shouldn't be mad at him, he was being good so he was totally surprised I wasn't happy. I felt like I was in the middle of a circus with 5 people and 10 vehicles to get back up to the house.
By the time we all get back up to the house Jesse was asleep in the stroller. I take him out and am laying him in the playpen when Simon walks in (out of bed without permission). He starts talking loud and I tell him to be quiet. He isn't, he cries. I tell him to whisper and to not cry. He cries. I send him back to bed. Jesse's half awake now. Then Noah, who's at my elbow starts talking about dinner. Loudly, as that's the only volume he has. I snapped at him, and the look on his face at the harshness of my words put me in my place.
What am I doing? Why am I so mean and such a bully? These are just little people who don't mean any harm and don't understand how the world works.
I took a minute to put the stroller away and headed to the kitchen. I knew I had to get food in their bellies (and mine) or it would only get worse. Tim came in and asked if I needed help. Help? Do you even need to ask? I'm floundering here!
I had Tim stay in the kitchen, to keep an eye on the boys so I could throw something together quickly, and I'm less likely to lose my temper when he's around helping out. By the end of dinner we were all fine, you know, once the blood sugar is in the right place. Let's hope they are all still too little to remember this particular scene when they are older.
I'm hoping by putting this out on my blog I'll be even more convicted to work on my mothering and patience. I have four wonderful, energetic, smart, funny, beautiful, delightful and precious little boys to raise, and I so don't want to do it wrong. I only get one shot. No pressure or anything!